Enron by Lucy Prebble

Scene 2: Circle Of Blame

Detritus litters the stage. Order must be restored. Trials / hearings.
Senator These hearings are an attempt to investigate America's largest corporate bankruptcy. What happened, why did it happen and who is responsible for it happening?
Those responsible are present around the outskirts of the stage, maybe some sort of a circle: Lay, Fastow, Ramsay and Hewitt, Arthur Andersen, the Board. But not Skilling.
A light moves from player to player as they speak.
Member of the Board (as a statement) The Board is shocked and dismayed by events. We are not lawyers and had no idea Mr. Fastow was doing anything illegal.
Ramsay As a law firm, we had a responsibility to the law
Hewitt If illegal practises went on –
Ramsay After we signed off on LJM –
Hewitt That's entirely another matter –
Ramsay Another matter entirely.
Hewitt We explicitly –
Ramsay / Hewitt – avoided the illegal. We are not accountants.
Arthur Andersen I am an accountant. For my sins (!) These procedures were unusual.
Little Arthur They were not illegal.
Arthur Andersen Arthur Andersen are happy to provide all Enron-related documents.
Little Arthur Except for all the ones we shredded.
Arthur Andersen wrestles his dummy into acquiescence.
Fastow Mr Chairman, on the advice of my counsel, I respectfully decline to answer the questions put to me based on the protection afforded me under the United States
Lay I have been instructed by my counsel not to testify based on my fifth-amendment constitutional rights.
Skilling enters the hearing.
Skilling I will testify. I'll answer any question you got. I'll take a lie detector test right here, right now. This whole situations's been terrible for a lot of people, and I'm here to explain what happened. And how I can help.
Senator With due respect, Mr Skilling, I'm not going to ask you to help. Let me put something to you: is it a matter of coincidence that a few months after you left Enron the company collapsed?
Skilling When I left Enron corporation, on August 14th of the year 2001, I believed that the company was in – was in great shape.
Senator Do you have personal worth of more than a hundred million dollars?
Skilling I don't have the records with me.
Senator Would that be surprising to you to learn that you had that?
Skilling No that would – that would not be a surprise.
Senator And how do you feel about the employees whose families have lost their life savings?
Skilling Well, I guess –
Senator You donated any of that money to employees?
Skilling At this point … I have thirty-six separate lawsuits against me. It is my expectation that I will spend the next five to ten years of my life battling those lawsuits.
Senator And you don't believe you've done anything wrong?
Skilling The markets were … destroyed after September 11th. There were allegations of accounting problems, of accounting irregularities. In business terms, that's tantamount to yelling fire in a crowded theatre. It becomes a run on the bank.
Senator, Judge (to us) Thank you, Mr Skilling.A few bad apples have shamed American corporate culture here. But today is our day.… Day for the US Senate, the courts. And the people. And we will see that those millionaires with their private jets and luxury lifestyles are forced to explain to those of us with normal lives on the ground what misdeeds have been done. The American Government will not stand for corporate crime on this scale. I mean, on any scale.
Gavel bang three times.
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